With Brexit, A Customer-Focused Agenda Is More Important Than Ever

Laura Koetzle
Yesterday’s decision by UK citizens to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) brings about short-term uncertainties and unintended consequences that will make it harder for UK businesses to keep customers and attract talent. While times of high-market volatility can tempt firms to panic and cut spending on customer-focused initiatives, now is the time to drive innovation in order to win, serve, and retain customers. 
 
As decisions over the next several years are determined by legislators and driven by compliance, UK companies will be challenged to operate as customer-obsessed firms. Forrester believes that the UK’s decision will have five major implications, including:
 
  • Digital and customer-facing talent will migrate out of the UK. Concerns about immigration laws (i.e., who will have the right to stay) will both drive footloose talent to look for jobs abroad and dissuade others from coming. And CIOs will find it even more difficult to recruit already-scarce developers and engineers to build customer-facing systems. 
  • Product and delivery innovation will slow. Companies will now have to spend more time and effort to deliver products across borders and less time innovating on new customer-focused solutions. 
Read more

Microsoft’s Acquisition Of LinkedIn Will Not Translate Into A Revolution Of Enterprise Social Networking

Dan Bieler

In a report, Forrester discussed arguments made by Microsoft regarding the potential benefits of the tie-up. There are some additional aspects that I also consider important when discussing the implications of the tie-up:

  • LinkedIn's status of trusted independent platform for professional information exchange could be undermined. Although the deal, should it go through, would help Microsoft to strengthen its social networking services and professional content, there will be LinkedIn users that are not keen to become sucked into the Microsoft ecosystem as part of their social collaboration activities and abandon LinkedIn as active users.
  • Microsoft must be much faster to decide on LinkedIn's strategy than it did with Skype. It took Microsoft several years to define its strategy for Skype, and Yammer for that matter. This slow response to sort out Skype's place in the Microsoft family slowed down Skype's momentum significantly. By the time the new Skype strategy was announced, most of the hardcore Skype users had migrated away towards other social collaboration platforms like WhatsApp, Facetime, or WeChat.
  • Microsoft must redouble its mobile efforts. A large part of LinkedIn users’ activities are mobile based. Microsoft's weak position in mobile ecosystems could dramatically undermine LinkedIn's longer-term opportunities. If Microsoft underestimates the mobile dimension for LinkedIn, the future for LinkedIn could be very questionable. Users are fickle and there is no loyalty to outdated social media platforms.
Read more

The Downside Of Digital Labs For Financial Innovation

Diego Lo Giudice

The race to digital is heating up in financial services (FS) organizations; increasingly, the engine making this happen is Agile. Why? Quite simply, it is software that makes any financial business truly digital. Organizations are therefore in a rush to become great at rapidly innovating, developing, and delivering new software products to win new clients and retain and serve existing ones.

Oliwia Berdak and I have just published twin reports — one for eBusiness and channel strategy professionals, and one for AD&D leaders — that share our findings on how FS organizations are trying to ramp up their digital innovation capabilities rapidly by leveraging Agile and other innovative models. 

Our key finding comes in response to a question: Are you building a digital lab that contains great developers but is isolated from key business leaders and other technology management teams? If the answer is yes, don’t! If separate digital units pursue disruptive opportunities, they will often end up with just front-end apps or proofs of concept that are impossible to integrate and scale with same speed they were developed.

Read more

One Million Thanks!

Nigel Fenwick

Thank you for your support!

I'm delighted to see this blog has officially had over one million views, making this one of the most read blogs at Forrester! 

I truly appreciate all the support of you, my readers, in helping share this content with your peers. So thank you a million times.

Here is a selection of the most popular reads based on your recommendations, page views and one or two I just like the most:

Social Media:

Read more

Mobile Edge Computing Will Be Critical For Internet-Of-Things And Distributed Computing

Dan Bieler

Computing at the edge of the mobile network will frame your IoT-enabled customer experiences in the age of the customer. As products and services based on the internet of things (IoT) continue to thrive, so does the reliance on the underlying network infrastructures to drive business success. Most IoT assets will be connected via mobile infrastructure, and cloud services are central to many IoT initiatives to deliver real-time and context-based services.

However, data transmission costs and the latency limitations of mobile connectivity pose challenges to many of these IoT installations that rely on cloud computing. Mobile edge computing (MEC) is an important technology that enables businesses to deliver real-time and context-based mobile moments to users of IoT solutions, while managing the cost base for mobile infrastructure.

  • Cloud and IoT solutions are increasingly intertwined and improve IoT experiences. IoT solutions gain functionality through cloud services, which in turn open access to third-party expertise and up-to-date information.
  • Mobile connectivity can create challenges for cloud-enabled IoT environments. Latency affects user experiences, so poor mobile connectivity can limit cloud computing deployments in the IoT context.
  • MEC provides real-time network and context information, including location. MEC gives application developers and business leaders access to cloud computing capabilities and a cloud service environment that’s closer to their actual users.
Read more

Digital Transformation Forum Europe 2016: Q&A with Blake Cahill, Head of Digital, Royal Philips

Laura Koetzle

Forrester’s Digital Transformation Europe 2016 Forum in London starts today, and our first industry speaker will be Blake Cahill, Head of Digital, at Royal Philips. Over the past 20 years, Blake has led a series of marketing, creative, client management, product innovation, and thought leadership projects for both Fortune 500 organizations and digital start-ups. At Philips, Blake is helping to lead the Dutch company’s international rebranding and expansion into new technologies and markets. In his presentation, he will talk about the role of digital marketing in the transformation of Philips into a global digital business, and in entering the Chinese market, providing key best practices and lessons learnt.

As I prepared for my role as Forum co-chair, together with Benjamin Ensor, I spoke to Blake about his views on the age of the customer and the impact of digital on companies like Royal Philips. Here is what Blake shared with me, and I hope you will enjoy his answers as much as I did. If you would like to attend Blake's presentation in person, there is still time to register!

Q. How is digital transforming Philips' business and, as a digital marketer, how are you collaborating with and/or advising your peers in other parts of the business on the transformation?

Read more

Don't know where your customers and assets are? Then you don't know where your business is going.

Rowan Curran

Business decision-makers take note: location-based context is critical for the future of application experiences and customer engagement. Understanding the location of customers and assets lets companies get closer to their customers and assets to drive better decisions (just to name a few: choosing the a site for a brick-and-mortar location, picking what offer to send to a customer, guiding passengers through airports, deciding where to focus your next marketing campaign, or pushing a greeting and sign-in to a patient as soon as she enters a hospital). The flood of spatial data generated by ubiquitous mobile and proliferating IoT devices offers developers new opportunities for user engagement, but choosing the right tools and services to ingest, analyze, and act upon this information can be vexing.

From comprehensive spatial analysis systems to decomposed location services solving specific problems, the landscape of spatial analysis vendors and offerings can be overwhelming and confusing. In our new report, Vendor Landscape: Spatial Analysis And Location Intelligence, Q2 2016, Forrester breaks down the market into six cohorts to help application developers, analysts, and business decision-makers choose the right technologies for their enterprise. Check out the full report at Forrester.com for more details and to view capabilities of dozens of vendors in these cohorts:

  1. Dedicated spatial analysis software platform providers
  2. Advanced analytics platform vendors
  3. BI vendors with spatial capabilities
  4. Spatial infrastructure and software vendors
  5. Location intelligence services providers
  6. Horizontal and vertical spatial solutions providers
Read more

Key Takeaways From Informatica World 2016: Informatica Pivots From A Data Company To A Business Insights Company

Nasry Angel

Informatica World wrapped up in San Francisco last week where almost 3,000 customers and partners gathered in the Moscone West conference center for four days packed with executive keynotes, customer and partner presentations. Based on my time there it’s clear that:

Informatica is pivoting to cater to a business audience. They recognize the business and their requirements have gained greater influence over technology purchasing decisions and are responding accordingly. Heralding what they call the age of data 3.0 they now want to leverage their leadership position in data management to build industry solutions on top of their data integration, data quality and data management tools. MDM solutions like MDM-Customer 360, MDM-Product 360, and MDM-Supplier 360 take aim at delivering mission critical insights to the business user. Their expanded partnership with Tableau will also continue to expose them to business audiences.

Promising new executives have their work cut out for them. Informatica has a 20 year track record of success in data management. But they are going in a new direction that is largely uncharted territory for them. Lou Attanasio, is the newly minted Chief Sales Officer who will need to transform an organization accustomed to speaking with IT to one that appeals to a business audience which will require a new sales model, training, and specialized sales talent that can speak to the client in terms of business value while also covering the technology at the right altitude. Jim Davis, who joined earlier this year as CMO from SAS, is leading the charge in positioning Informatica as not just a data management tool but a platform that is embracing cloud, mobile, social, big data, IoT and security.

Read more

US Government: Huawei Should Be Your Digital Business Partner, Not Your Enemy

Charlie Dai

Huawei Technologies started out nearly 30 years ago as a small private company with 14 employees and 140,000 yuan in capital. By 2015, its total revenue exceeded $60 billion. Huawei is already a global company, but its globalization journey has been a difficult one since the very beginning. Despite its continuous business growth in other regions, Huawei has faced critical censorship in the US since Day One — and last week the US government put Huawei under the microscope yet again.

National security is important, but using “national security” as an excuse for allowing unfair competition will only harm customers. It’s time for the governments of both countries to trust each other more. I’ve recently published a report focusing on Huawei’s continuous progress toward becoming a key enabler of digital transformation in the telco and enterprise spaces. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Huawei has holistic strategies for digital transformation. Huawei’s broad vision of digital strategy — which focuses on cloud enablement and readiness, partner enablement, and open source co-creation — has helped the firm sustain strong business growth in the telco and enterprise markets. For example, its partnerships with T-Systems on the Open Telekom Cloud in Germany and with Telefónica on public cloud in the Americas have helped carriers in local markets give cloud users on-demand, all-online, self-service experiences.
Read more

Digital Transformation Europe Forum 2016: Q&A With Fergus Boyd, VP, Digital And IT, Yotel

Laura Koetzle

This week, Forrester’s European Digital Transformation Europe Forum 2016 kicks off in London at the Lancaster on June 8-9. Myself and Forum co-host Benjamin Ensor are very excited about the program that we have been able to put together across the two days. Our list of industry speakers is impressive, and includes Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, at Philips, Toby Wright, Chief Technology Officer, at Telegraph Media Group, Nina Jones, Global Owner Experience Director, at Jaguar Landrover, and Dr. Horst J. Kayser, Chief Strategy Officer, at Siemens AG.

On day one, we will also be hearing from Fergus Boyd, Vice President, Digital and IT at Yotel. Fergus is responsible for this start-up affordable luxury hotel brand’s digital strategy and services (web, mobile, social), IT innovation, and all back-end and guest-facing technology. He is a serial digital entrepreneur and technology transformation agent and led award-winning IT, eCommerce, and innovation initiatives at Virgin Atlantic and British Airways (BA).  

In the run-up to the Forum, we asked Fergus to answer a number of questions on how Yotel uses digital to differentiate itself in the hospitality and accommodation market. His answers are a must-read for other tech management and digital business leaders facing similar challenges. I look forward to hearing Fergus’ presentation, “From Raw Fish To Moving Beds,” this Wednesday. Come and join us by registering today!

Q. How does Yotel use digital (web, mobile, social) to differentiate itself as a startup hotel brand?

Read more